Little Mermaid Party: Under the Sea Adventure!

the little mermaid under the sea party table and drinks

Just like Monica Margolles of Styling the Moment‘s daughter, my girls are going through a huge Little Mermaid phase right now, so I know this Under the Sea Adventure Party would be an absolute hit in this house too… and probably in many other houses around the world. ;) Mom thought of just about every clever under the sea treat, from sour seaweed, coral rock candy and sand dollar Oreos, to ocean flower lollipops and the most ridiculously cute orange gummy crabs! I also love that she included true-to-the-movie details like an ode to “Kiss the Girl” and silverware-filled candelabra centerpieces, including the infamous ‘dinglehopper’ of course!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Fish net & starfish backdrop + GORGEOUS rainbow ruffle table skirt
  • Playful favor table filled with pirate swords, bubbles and adorable plush characters
  • Pearl-filled ‘Clam’ Macarons, shiny Sea Pearl gumballs, & marshmallow octopus pops atop brown sugar sand
  • A staged Kiss the Girl scene beneath cascading tulle and a Scuttle plush!
  • Beautiful ocean cake adorned with seashells and pearl & topped with Ariel and Flounder

the little mermaid candelabra with silverware centerpiece

under the sea sand dollar cookies and sour seaweed candy desserts

the little mermaid under the sea party centerpiece with mermaid tail

under the sear pink marshmallow octopus pops (more…)

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{Outlaw Hoedown} Western Themed Birthday Party

outlaw western themed birthday party

Howdy, Partner! Alejandra Morin of The Marshmallow Studio rounded up this super fun (& fitting) Outlaw Themed Birthday Party for her son, Keiran, who – as she explains it – got a bit of a head start on his “terrible 2’s”. ;) I love the mini tumbleweeds, rustic decor, and super cool backdrop make from construction paper cacti + the birthday boy’s name in rope (DIYed with wire hangers, rope & hot glue). And being that mom is the queen of all things marshmallow, of course there are tons of adorable marshmallow treats too… from scrumptious looking s’mores pops to the cutest little marshmallow cowboy that will make you wanna saddle on up and ride off into the sunset!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Wanted sign invitation + cowboy/girl hats, badges and mustaches for each outlawed guest
  • Antique leather lockbox filled with ‘liquid salvation’ on the Watering Hole refreshments table
  • Sweet desert cowboy & cactus cake topper + homemade mini mason jar pecan pies
  • Adorable marshmallow cows & chocolate coin filled money bag party favors (for the adults!)

straw wreath and western table decor

burlap and paisley bunting and mini mason jar pecan pies

cactus cake topper, marshmallow cow and cowboy rope backdrop


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Vibrant & Exotic Bollywood 40th Birthday Party

bollywood birthday banner and chocolate bars

Kenna O’Brien of Miss Party Mom is back with a beautiful Bollywood Themed 40th Birthday Party inspired by the birthday girl’s Indian heritage! The mixture of traditional elements and personal touches make this party so fun. Everywhere you look, there’s plenty of sparkle & vibrant color, from the canopied seating area embellished with floor pillows to the colorful outfits on guests that are having a blast belly-dancing the night away!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Gorgeous decorated Indian elephant & mehndi inspired sugar cookies
  • Traditional Indian dresses make for a beautiful dessert table backdrop!
  • Sparkling diamond garlands & draped fabrics hanging throughout the canopy
  • A bejeweled Bindi Bar + sparkling Indian bangle bracelets as party favors

beautiful indian elephant sugar cookies

bollywood 40th birthday cupcakes, lanterns, and decorations

bollywood birthday girl having fun (more…)

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Creative Construction Themed Birthday Party

DIY construction party cake with dump truck topper

CAUTION: fun times ahead! Inspired by her son’s love of “helping daddy with work”,  Ashley of Cupcake Express built him a Construction Themed Birthday Party that just looks like LOADS of fun. From power tool chocolates to construction zone cookies, all the treats look delicious, but I’m especially digging the Chocolate Mud Cake turned “construction site” topped with mini dump trucks, track-hoes, and Oreo cookie “dirt”!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Yummy looking homemade parfaits topped with Reece’s pieces (DIY details below!)
  • Cute mini-garland, Oreo cookie ‘dirt’ & safety cone candles atop the birthday cake
  • Chocolate dump truck lollipops + truck-shaped cookies filled with sparkly black ‘coal’
  • Awesome personalized shirt for the birthday boy + cool construction party printables throughout

construction party dessert table and birthday boy outfit

construction party orange drinks and dump truck favors

construction party kids table and place settings (more…)

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Totally Awesome BMX Birthday Party

bmx birthday cupcakes, banner, and bike sign

Abigail Barnes of Paper & Cake helped a friend whip up this super cool BMX Birthday Party for her son, and it honestly looks like a BLAST. I mean, dirt bike racing, spray bottle water fights, yummy food… sounds like the makings of Xtreme fun to me! I’m seriously tempted to swap out the orange for hot pink, bling out some helmets, and try this same thing for my next “grown up” birthday party!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • BMX themed lunch trays, individually wrapped in cellophane to keep the dust out (smart thinking!)
  • Awesome BMX rider silhouette cupcake toppers + printable “number plates” fo the bikes
  • “Cool Off” spray bottles for the riders, which they used on each other of course ;)
  • Iced coffee for the “Sponsors” watching from the sidelines (a.k.a. moms & dads)

bmx birthday party printable welcome sign

bmx party food table and race

bmx party lunch tray ideas (more…)

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Sweet Endings: Butterscotch Pudding + White Grape Sparkler Recipes {New Year’s Eve}

diy low calorie, low sugar butterscotch pudding

Happy last Friday of 2013! Yep… Christmas may be over already, but we’ve still got New Year’s Eve to look forward to next week! :) Speaking of New Year’s Eve, I’ve teamed up with NECTRESSE® Natural No Calorie Sweetener again this holiday season to develop and share some creative holiday entertaining tips, including recipe ideas that are sweet like we love, but also lower in sugar.

One of my favorite recipes is this Sweet Butterscotch Pudding, which is pictured above. In this recipe, we swapped 1/3 cup of white sugar for 4 tsp. of NECTRESSE®, and it looks super cute served in ramekins OR in small ice cream cones! It’s the perfect New Year’s treat to serve to guests who want to keep their portion sizes in check.

White grape low calorie, low sugar sparkler party drink that's perfect for new year's eve

The other NYE-friendly recipe I’m sharing today is a low sugar Winter Grape Sparkler, which is a breeze to make! The club soda adds a lot of sparkle and significantly cuts the amount of juice required, while NECTRESSE® sweetens things up without all the extra calories of added sugar. Want to try a fun twist on the traditional New Year’s Eve “Countdown Toast”? Try serving this recipe up – and swapping out the club soda for champagne for party guests that want to enjoy a more grown up toast!

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Diner Style Race Car First Birthday Party

diy race car themed gumball machine centerpiece

Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines… because we’re off to the races with this fabulous Diner Style Race Car First Birthday from Nikka Morell of Triple M Good Parties! Nikka used budget-friendly ideas and DIYed like crazy to make this first birthday party a raging success – from super cool racing themed “gumball machines” to sleek & creative wall decor. And of course she served up some fan favorites to munch on… because no diner style party would be complete without crinkled french fries, GRILLed cheese, and ice cream sundaes! YUM.

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS too look out for:

  • DIY racing themed gumball machines (upside down terra cotta pots covered with fabric)
  • DIY treat trays “prettied up” with spray paint, tissue paper and wooden knob “legs”
  • Bright red tissue paper “1” + framed Hot Wheels race car wall art (so clever!)
  • Yarn-wrapped vases + a vintage popcorn machine and awesome retro drink dispenser

race car party cookies, smash cake, and candy

retro gas tank drink dispenser

race car vroom cookies and checkered gable box favors (more…)

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GIVEAWAY: Ultimate Craft Supplies {over $1000 retail value}

Ultimate craft supply giveaway - prizes worth over $1000

Didn’t get all the crafty stuff on your holiday wish list? Well, not to worry… we’ve got you covered with the Ultimate Craft Supply Giveaway! We’ve teamed up with some great websites to give away over $1000 worth of our favorite craft supplies to two lucky winners. You’ll find everything from a Cricut Cuttlebug and 30 ROLLS of washi tape to a $100 Shopping Spree at Hostess INK! :)

Scroll down for a peek at the fabulous prize packages – which includes a GRAND PRIZE valued at $595 and a FIRST PRIZE valued at $500: (more…)

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Whimsical & Wintery Snow Princess Dessert Table

snowflake cupcakes and snow princess dessert table

I know we’re all recovering from our Christmas celebrations, but the truth is that winter has only just begun! So, I couldn’t resist sharing this whimsical Snow Princess Dessert Table with you today… and how cute is the little ballerina that inspired it all?! Lea Andrews of Sweet Scarlett Events dreamed up this sparkling winter wonderland for her adorable daughter, and I’m loving the frosty feel, pops of pink, and sparkle all around. Happy Holidays! :)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Pink & white ‘Snow Cloud’ Marshmallows + Winter Dew refreshments
– Sparkly snowflake-adorned cupcakes & crown topped cake fit for a Snow Princess
– Pretty picture frames used as treat trays + scalloped food labels embellished with tiny bows
– “Magical” tulle table skirt lit with fairy lights + snow-flocked birch trees flanking the table

snow princess drinks and cookies

pink white snowflake princess party

snowflake cake with tiara topper (more…)

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Shimmery Winter Wonderland Holiday Party

Silver and White Wonderland Dessert Table

With only 2 days left until Christmas, I’m extra excited to share a little holiday magic with you! Jesi Celeita from Dolce Designs set out to create a dessert table that “transported guests to a cold, snowy winter wonderland of sweet delights”, and I’d say she delivered! From the sparkly, snowy treats to the inviting hot cocoa station, this Shimmery Winter Wonderland Holiday Party manages to feel wintery and warm all at the same time. This would be a great look for an elegant New Year’s Eve celebration or a winter bridal shower too. :)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Fabulous stacked square cookies topped with pretty white sugar flowers
– Blinged out silver candy apples and cake pop sticks + gorgeous ruffled cookies
– Simple chic cake with alternating snowy white and metallic silver tiers + fondant ruffle flower
– Jesi’s adorable “party girls” decked out in oufits that perfectly coordinate with the decor!

silver and white layer cupcakes with fondant flowers

silver and white cocoa bar sign

silver white party guests - girls with sparklers and cupcakes

silver and white tier cake with fondant ruffle flower


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Holidays Made Merrier with Pottery Barn Kids + $500 Giveaway!

Holidays Made Merrier - Pottery Barn Kids & HWTM

I’m excited to share a fantastic GIVEAWAY + fun gift ideas (for ANY time of year) with you today! Thank you to Pottery Barn Kids for inviting us to be part of their December Holidays Made MERRIER program over on their Building Blocks blog. As much as I loved picking out creative gift ideas to share, the best part of participating is that it means one of our readers is going to win a $500 Gift Card from PBK!!

Visit the full post right here and enter by December 29th to throw YOUR name in the hat. I can’t wait to find out who wins! :) (more…)

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Modern Australian Animal Inspired Birthday Party

mod party animal dessert table

This is not your typical 3rd birthday party – in the best way possible! Amanda De Santis of Red Wagon Events created this super cool Modern Australian Animal Party for her son, Xavier. I love the bold black & white details combined with playful pops of primary hues, not to mention the fantastic paper designs by Pretty and Print…. how cute is that straw-sipping lion on the drink station backdrop?! This look is so appropriate for kids, but would translate really well to a grown up “party animal” or chic baby shower theme too!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Painted animal figurines (right up our alley!) & mod party animal silhouettes
  • Adorable koala bear macarons, party animal cookies, and a playful fondant cake
  • Mod minimalist black & white tablescape with polka dot paper bowls and straws
  • Talk bubble cookies that coordinate perfectly with the phrases on the paperie
  • Animals of Oz brought in the real live animals for the kids to enjoy (check out those bat wings!)

koala bear macarons

children petting a bird - party activity

mod party animal cake (more…)

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Adorable Alphabet Train First Birthday Theme

alphabet train first birthday paryt dessert table - gray and blue

CHOO CHOO… birthday train coming through! Julianna Smigelsky of Tabletop Treats is our conductor for the day as we wind our way through this ADORABLE Alphabet Train First Birthday Party. She used a chic blue and silver color palette on everything from the printables and decor to the sweets and favors. I especially love the amazing train centerpiece on the dessert table that has a treat-filled boxcar for every letter. Cute AND clever! ;)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Alphabet-filled puffs of steam atop a sleek silver train, transporting a slew of cupcakes
  • Adorable alphabet themed smash cake surrounded by alphabet sugar cookies
  • ‘Learning to Write’ cookies + themed water bottles with “ABC” Nutrition Facts
  • DIY alphabet block party favors + larger decorative blocks holding tent poles

wooden alphabet train centerpiece and alphabet block cakes

fondant alphabet birthday cake - gray blue white (more…)

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Trend Alert: All White Bridal Showers {+ Winter Theme}

all white bridal shower or snowflake christmas party

Tonya Coleman here from Soireé Event Design, and I’m back with the “Trend Alert” where I share with you some of the hottest trends in party planning! Today’s guest post is all about the hot new trend of ALL WHITE BRIDAL SHOWERS! All white party decor is making its way into party planning. When I think of all white I think of brides. Check out how I use this trend in designing a white bridal shower with wintery details.


The first thing that came to mind when deciding to use an all-white color palette for a bridal shower was a wedding gown! So I incorporated fabrics and textures commonly found in wedding gowns such as rosette, tulle, flowers, crystals, glitter and bling to create an atmosphere where you feel like you are surrounded by wedding gowns. Since it’s Christmas time, I added in touches of sparkly white holiday decor to create a wintery white theme. These holiday elements can of course be left out so you can use this design year-round.

Not using any color in a party design may sound hard to do. Even I kept fighting the urge to add a “splash of color” but really it’s easy with my simple steps below and the final visual impact is simply gorgeous.

crystal chandelier centerpiece for an all white bridal shower or christmas party

white winter party tutu costume perfect for a holiday sugar plum fairy party

white snowflake desserts and fascinator hat place setting (more…)

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{Party of 5} Peppa Pig, Spring Flowers, Cutie Pie Birthday, Kimmidoll & Carousel Party

peppa pug birthday party

Here we go with the latest round of Party of 5 picks from the incredible submissions that come our way! This week you’ll find the following creative themes:
– Spring Flowers First Birthday
– Cutie Pie Themed First Birthday
– Kimmidoll Birthday Party
– Carousel Party
1. Peppa Pig Dessert Table (pictured above) by All Things Cake and Small

2. Spring Flowers First Birthday by Sara Baig Designs

spring flowers tea party first birthday party


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Charming & Girlie Woodland Owl Birthday Party

handmade red felt owl in a tree

Maureen Anders of Anders Ruff here to share a gorgeous Girlie Woodland Owl Party that Jen Ward planned for her daughter, Autumn! “Whoot” wouldn’t love this bright and happy party decked out with whimsical owls and toadstools in bright red, pink, aqua, lime and natural woodland tones?!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Frame adorned faux bois backdrop with handmade rosettes and birch accents
– Homemade Marshmallow toadstool treats on skewers
– Squirrel Mix (Trail Mix) packaged in mason jars with twine and wooden cutlery
– Meringue Acorn Cookies made with vanilla wafers, white meringues and chocolate chips

woodland party tablescape with garland and white pumpkin centerpieces

2 tier white cake for a woodland birthday party with red toadstools and flowers

owl woodland birthday party dessert table with red and wooden accents


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Colorful & Creative Robot Birthday Party

robot themed birthday party and dessert table

If you’re on the lookout for robot party ideas, look no further – because Janie Wilson computed some serious creativity for her son’s 5th birthday with this super colorful Robot Birthday Party! Mom found just about every awesome robot activity in the book to kick this party into high gear – from robot themed games to crafty activities like painting robot banks and making your own Rice Krispie treat bots… then eating them of course! ;)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Life-sized handmade robots with spring-topped heads & diagnostic button fronts
  • Colorful birthday cake topped decked out with gears and the cutest little blue robot topper!
  • Fabulous watermelon robot filled with grapes + adorable googly-eyed cupcakes
  • White chocolate mini robots, “liquid hydrogen” water bottles & a paint your own bot activity

white chocolate robots for a boys birthday party

DIY watermelon robot filled with grapes (more…)

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Delightful Mint & Pink Flamingo Baby Shower

pink flamingo baby shower cupcake and dessert table

I am absolutely tickled pink by this Delightful Mint & Pink Flamingo Baby Shower, from Marisol Figueroa of Modishly Delish! I mean, what’s not to LOVE about a flamingo in a tutu, right?! There are so many super cute activities as well, from a DIY photo booth (complete with flamingo glasses) to decorating onesies for baby Mila and writing sweet notes in her very first baby book. When it comes to welcoming a baby girl with sweetness and style, this party is definitely on pointe. ;)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • The most adorable, tutu-wearing fondant flamingo cake topper on a beautiful, mint-ruffle cake
  • Tropical flavored treats like mini guava cupcakes, coconut macarons, & watermelon cotton candy
  • Beautiful centerpieces with DIY (dollar store!) vases + handmade, tulle tutus for the flamingos
  • Gorgeous flamingo sugar cookies and flower-topped mint chocolate meringues

tutu wearing flamingo in a bed of hydrangeas as the centerpiece for a girl's baby shower

mint ruffle pink baby flamingo cake for a baby shower

pink flamingo baby shower tablescape and centerpieces (more…)

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Whimsical Grinch Inspired Who-liday Party

a christmas party with a grinch theme and red and green printables and decorations

I think my heart grew about 3 sizes when I saw this Grinch Inspired Who-liday Party by the incredibly talented Jennifer Carver of Banner Events! I love all the whimsical & classic Christmas patterns paired together with the bright and beautiful sweets. The Grinch’s heart cookies are probably my favorite though… they are just TOO Who-tastic. We’ve got exactly one week (!) until Christmas — just enough time to add a touch of playful Who-liday charm to your own celebrations. :)

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more?

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Classic elements like peppermint swirls, Santa hats & glittering ornaments decorate the table
– Festive handmade door wreath + adorable mini wreaths for each guest’s milk glass
– Layered jello parfaits, ‘ornament’ cake bites, & ‘Cindy Lou’ vanilla bean cupcakes
– Special cookies for Santa + chocolate-dipped krispy treats (tinted green, of course!)
– Fun wrapping paper backdrop + a framed Who-ville Christmas tree topped with a big red bow!

grinch themed christmas party invitation, heart cookie and tablescape

red and green christmas printable party circle cupcake topper with a stocking

red and green christmas place setting for a grinch themed holiday party (more…)

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Sparkly Holiday Wine & Crafting Party {+ DIY Gold Leaf Champagne Glasses}

a gold and glitter holiday party with DIY crafts and wine

Crafting, wine, girlfriends, and a whole lotta sparkle? Yes, please! This beautiful, gold be-decked Holiday Wine & Crafting Party from Megan of ONEHOPE Wines just looks like the perfect way to soak in the joy of the season… and that’s exactly why Megan decided to host it in the first place!

I love all the thoughtful touches featured here – from beautifully scripted place cards, to a fun gold leafing activity for the guests, to the Hope at Home wine tasting from ONEHOPE, which raises money for the party host’s charity of choice. Scroll down for more info this fantastic program + fabulous holiday inspiration and DIY Details on the gold leaf champagne glasses.

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Festive place settings with gold confetti paper placemats & sparkly gold hearts
– Fun touches of winter glam: faux fur chair backs, ghost chairs, and a white sequin table linen
– Glittery gold boxes for each guest, filled with supplies for the gold leafing activity!
– Yummy treats like peppermint cake pops & a gorgeous selection of gourmet cheeses

gold, glitter and white place setting and tablescape for a holiday christmas party

gold and white holiday pary tablescape with mini terrariums, white fur chair backs, onehope wine, and gold sequin hair clip

modern gold and white food table and wine bar with cheese and wine platter and a white deer head


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Sweet Sugar Plum Fairy Dessert Table


I just love the holidays and all the little sugar plum fairies that come with them! Right now, I am particularly loving this Sugar Plum Fairy Dessert Table by Shauna Krantz of Cupcake With Character! Shauna’s party includes an adorable, tutu-wearing fairy as well as a fun spin on holiday colors — shown in the gold-gilded cake pops, mint green rose meringues and strawberry pink milk. This wintery wonderland is too plum cute!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Mint green marshmallow pops with tiny gold stars + a rag-tie tulle wreath
  • A golden toy soldier Nutcracker standing guard of all the yummy treats ;)
  • Snowflake-stamped & polka dotted Christmas tree sugar cookies with cute little bows

Christmas Sugar Plum Fairy gold glitter cake pops and strawberry pink milk

Sugar plum fairy design with heart garland and mint green cupcakes


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Bug-tastic Joint Birthday Party

bug party food and dessert table banana and grape caterpillars

This fun-filled, Bug-tastic Joint Birthday Party has me totally bugging out! Vivian Kerr of Kerr Kreations did an awesome job keeping these energetic boys busy with themed activities like a make-your own butterfly station, bug hunt and critter memory game (she also does a great job explaining all of these below)! I’m sure the two birthday boys had tons of fun hunting for little critters — I sure wouldn’t mind hunting for some of those bug-inspired snacks! ;)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Potted plant cupcakes topped with coconut “grass” + creepy crawly critters
  • Personalized water bottle & bug vacuum favors for each little explorer!
  • Butterfly (Bowtie) Pasta Salad, Banana Caterpillars & Snail Shell Sandwich Wraps
  • Adorable buggy printables (love the garland) + a sunny table backdrop

bug party drinks and little explorer costumes

corn dog centipedes for a boy's bug birthday party

bug birthday party activities like a critter matching memory game


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Cheerful Christmas Cookie Exchange

red and green christmas cookie exchange with snowflake sugar cookies

I absolutely love Cookie Exchanges because you get to enjoy all different kinds of treats as well as get new recipes to make for other holiday parties! That’s what I call a win-win! :) Bethany Gist of Auntie Bea’s Bakery did an awesome job setting up this Cheerful Christmas Cookie Exchange for her and her friends. If you want to try out any of the yummy looking treats from this party, make sure to check out Bethany’s site for all of the recipes!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Awesome holiday cake pops (could double as yummy hot cocoa stirrers) + intricate snowflake cookies
– Gingerbread house cookie decorating (I just love the spin on this classic holiday tradition)
– Gumdrop Christmas tree, holly-topped bon bons & an adorable cookie cutter wreath
– Super cute gingerbread cookie garland + a delicious looking hot cocoa bar (pass me the caramels please!)

gingerbread man, woman and house cookies for a holiday cookie exchange party

holicay cookie exchange hot cocoa bar with christmas cake pops and wooden spoons

gingerbread cookie sandwiches, chocolate bon bons and maple fudge


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Talking COCKTAIL POPS with Author Jeanne Benedict

Passion Fruit Mojito Cocktail Pops by Jeanne Benedict

If you’re looking for something really FUN and unique to serve at your next get grown-up get together (or to gift to someone that loves a good party), I’ve got just the thing for you!

My friend Jeanne Benedict recently released a book called Cocktail Pops that’s filled with over 50 recipes of spiked ice pops and frozen treats… from her signature Cosmopolitan Pops complete with vodka & triple sec to more dessert-style treats like Soused Strawberry Shortcake Push Pops with Amaretto. You can find the full book on Amazon in paperback or kindle edition.

And if you’re wondering the same thing I did initially, “But I thought alcohol doesn’t freeze?!” – that’s one of the questions addressed in the Tips and Popular FAQs section at the beginning of the book. (I can tell you that the answer starts with: “Untrue!…” ;)

Author Q&A + Kiwi Pomegranate Vodka Pops Recipe

I thought it would be fun to do a little author Q&A with Jeanne today about how Cocktail Pops came to be and some of the recipes inside – from her personal favorites to which recipes scored best with tv hosts like Billy and Kit from Access Hollywood Live. She was kind enough to share some insight AND a full recipe! Read on for her answers + a peek at more of the recipes featured in the book…

Long Island Iced Tea Pops by Jeanne Benedict

HWTM: Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired you to write Cocktail Pops and what the process was like?

JB: The popularity of my Cocktail Pops on TV talk shows inspired me to write the book. Every time I pitched a Cocktail Pops segment to a talk show, I was booked immediately and national shows get hundreds of pitches a day. I figured it was solid marketing research for projected book sales. But instead of going with a big publisher, like all my other books, I published this book on my own. It has been a fantastic experience and my book should be in stores this summer! The process had a bit of a learning curve, but now I’m so in love with it that I am seriously thinking about becoming a cookbook publisher for my books and others who may have great ideas, but haven’t been able to harness the marketing muscle of TV. (more…)

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Magical Neverland Inspired Peter Pan Birthday Party

an amazing crocodile topped peter pan ship cake for a Neverland themed birthday party

After heading towards the Second Star to the Right, we’ve landed in this downright magical Neverland & Peter Pan Birthday Party, as dreamed up by the talented Karen Ayars for her daughter’s 5th birthday. All of the guests dressed up as pint-sized versions of their favorite characters: Captain Hook, Smee, Tinkerbell, Wendy, & more! Even mom & dad played along… gotta love that. And speaking of characters, the incredibly creative kids tables were inspired by the stars of the show too… there’s a Captain Hook table, a Smee table, and even one inspired by Nana the dog!

I absolutely love all of the different activities that Karen incorporated into this party — there’s no chance these little adventure seekers were ever bored. As if that isn’t enough awesome already, just take a peek at the TREATS! The character dolls are like little works of art, and the giant Peter Pan “ship sculpture” with the Croc on top? Ya… that’s a CAKE! I’m pretty sure all the Pirates & Lost Boys (& Girls) would make peace to enjoy a slice of that together. ;)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Storybook cover sugar cookies + top hat & umbrella cupcakes
  • ‘Pixie Hollow’ Fairy Dust sand art station + stockpiled treasure chests
  • Different kids tables inspired by Captain Hook, Smee and the lovable dog, Nana
  • Beautiful handmade character dolls displayed in antique cupboards by Biscuit da Pati
  • A whimsical & creative rendering of Wendy, Michael & John’s Nursery complete with miniature beds!

a magical peter pan birthday party with wendy and a nursery cupboard

smee table, cookies and costume for a peter pan themed birthday party

peter pan themed hook and smee fondant characters as party favors


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Super Cute Cotton Candy Shoppe Party

cute, pink cotton candy shoppe birthday party for girls

So it turns out that Jessica Billings of Party Pants and I have something very important in common… a major soft spot for cotton candy! ;) And this is especially lucky for Jessica’s nieces, because she was inspired to spin up some serious CUTENESS for them with this retro Cotton Candy Themed Party. The dessert table is beautifully decorated with all kinds of sweet details – from candy jars filled with pastel treats to a delicious-looking handmade cotton candy garland hanging overhead. Each little “chef” even got to spin their own fluffy stick of cotton candy… then end the party with a cake fight! Now that sounds like my kind of fun. ;)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Pink “SWEET” Marquee Lights Sign adds some vintage dazzle to the dessert table
  • Wrapped candy garland + fluffy handmade cotton candy garland (LOVE!)
  • Bright gumballs used as functional decor + cute sign “easels” made from stripy straws
  • Personalized chef’s hats, tutus & matching hair clips for each guest
  • Simple coconut cake adorned with taffy + an adorable impromptu cake fight!

cotton candy fondant iced cupcakes for a birthday party

cotton candy present centerpieces for a pink, girl's birthday party

cotton candy birthday party activity and personalized party favors


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Rustic Red & Yellow Mickey Mouse Birthday Party

mickey mouse birthday cake - red yellow black

Mickey Mouse may have recently celebrated his 85th Birthday, but this is one party theme that never goes out of style! Case in point: check out this chic Rustic Mickey Mouse Party that Anita Haftavani recently created for her nephew’s FIRST birthday. I love that it emphasizes Mickey’s signature feature… his ears! From the little details like chocolate covered pretzels to the main attraction — a four-tier Mickey cake (topped with those ears, of course) – this is a perfect celebration for Mouseketeers of all ages!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Refreshing bouquets of gerber daisies, craspedia and sunflowers on burlap table runners
  • Charming, moss-covered wooden cake pedestal
  • Adorable Mickey themed “career cards” displayed atop stripe straws on a wood log
  • Mouse ears for every guest + giant plush Mickey just hanging around :)

mickey mouse birthday party - rustic red yellow black diy mickey mouse place cards chocolate dipped mickey mouse pretzels (more…)

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Little Red Riding Hood Woodland Wonderland 1st Birthday

little red riding hood baby birthday party

Over the river and through the woods is an adorable Little Red Riding Hood! I love Renee Falckh of Lottie and Me’s mod minimalist approach to her daughter Charlotte’s Little Red Riding Hood Woodland Wonderland 1st Birthday. My absolute favorite part is the photo banner and garland over a beautifully touching poem for baby Charlotte. And I think we can all agree that the cake is just too cute for words!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Adorable party favors including red gingham picnic baskets for the girls & blue gingham trundles for the little wolves boys ;)
  • Enchanting woodsy decor like moss-covered rocks, succulent terrarium centerpieces & tall twig backdrops
  • DIY framed burlap with a felt cutout of Red Riding Hood over the stunning woodland dessert table
  • Sweet apple cake pops, toadstool sugar cookies & lots of other little red treats!

red apple cake pops and little red riding hood dessert table

milk jugs wrapped in burlap and red yarn and woodsy, rustic tablescapes (more…)

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Kicking It Ninjago Style 6th Birthday Party

ninjago lego boy's birthday party cake with ninja warriors and sensei

Ninjago‘ is a LEGO Collection, turned TV Series, that has become hugely popular, especially as a party theme. At her son’s request for his 6th Birthday, Fransiska Subroto of Burgundy Event Coordinating created this Kicking It Ninjago Style Party that she knew would be a hit! Japanese details included green tea parfaits, individual bento boxes for each guest, sushi and a tea bar! And of course, the Ninjago guards on the cake came out perfectly!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Green tea & almond cookies and personalized bento box lunches
  • Cool dragon piñata, face painting, balloon animals & a super fun magician!
  • Flower filled chinese take out box centerpieces + Sensei Tea Bar

black, green and red dragon pinata for a ninjago birthday party

ninjago themed birthday party bento boxes at the kids table

ninja themed party desserts and decor (Chinese hanging lanterns)


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Whimsical Vintage French Open Themed Charity Event

vintage paris themed charity event party with black and white tablescape, party favors and pink floral centerpieces

Paris has a certain whimsical, romantic feeling that Courtney of When Pigs Fly Events captured perfectly when she styled this gorgeous Vintage French Open Themed Charity Event. Guests could enjoy posing at the pop-up café patio with a winner’s trophy, sip “Drop Shot” Mimosas from the bar, get their palms read, and more… what a fun-filled afternoon! I especially love the twinkle lights strung from the ceiling; after all, Paris IS La Ville-Lumière (the City of Light). ;)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Pink Balloon Poodles “on a walk” (SO CLEVER!) + Chic Parisian Parasol Centerpieces
  • “Paris Flea Market” silent auction tables decorated with rag tie fabric and lace bunting
  • Antique wooden tennis rackets + “Drop Shot” Mimosas
  • Giant black & white balloons adorned with pink feather boas and gold fringe
  • Stunning floral arrangements featuring roses & hydrangeas wrapped in black satin ribbons

french poodle balloon animals at a paris charity party
vintage french open parisian themed charity event

moulin rouge pink bar sign

vintage paris party lampshade centerpieces and chalkboard sign (more…)

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